The Apprentice. Let’s face it, most of us watch it. Last week, the ratings overtook the X Factor’s. It’s becoming a firm British favourite. Thursday autumn nights sat watching a group of ‘talented’ business professionals argue over who is allowed to speak.
So as you can imagine, I was pretty excited to see that an element of PR was involved in this week’s task. Finally my family and friends may have a better understanding of what PR is and what I want to do. However after watching this week’s episode, the idea my family and friends now have of PR isn’t the best one.
If you haven’t watched the show yet, I’d completely recommend watching this episode if you want a laugh. This week, their task was to set up a crowdfunding page, pitch the products and create a PR stunt to create a ‘buzz’ and increase the amount of pledges. Whoever raised the most won. Easy for a group of experts right?!
One team decided their stunt would take place in Waterloo Station. So that week, not only did people have to dodge the usual Southern train strikes and the tourists on the way to work, they also had to dodge a group of business men and women from the Apprentice having a laugh in the middle of Waterloo station attempting to create a PR stunt. People miming driving cars, riding bikes and being knocked over by cars. So basically walking around looking a bit weird.
I’m in no way saying that I could have produced an ‘amazing PR stunt’ but these are meant to be ‘experts in their fields’…A slight hint being that doing silent mimes / dance in a busy train station isn’t exactly going to attract attention. It was a bit painful / hilarious to watch.
Not even this, but the ‘Gilet’ argument. One of them was convinced that Gilet was spelt ‘Gillet’. They all have phones and laptops, if they were all that confused I would have hoped that as professionals they would use their initiative to press F7 or use Google for a spell check…
So now after watching this comedy sketch, the whole UK has a completely different idea of PR. Funnily enough and contrary to popular opinion, I am not spending 4 years of my life studying and practising PR for me to stand in Waterloo station telling a group of actors to mime being knocked off their bike…
It’s not the best representation of what I want to do for the rest of my life. It was pretty embarrassing to watch.
So to put it into perspective, I decided to include one of my favourite PR stunts. Considering that Lord Sugar wanted to create awareness and a buzz quickly I chose the stunt that stood out to me for these ways.
In May this year, a £90,000 Range Rover appeared outside Harrods spray painted with the words such as “Cheater”, “It’s over” and “Hope she was worth it”. It appeared to be messages from an angry lover which attracted a lot of attention. Thousands of people joined in on social media to share the content with pictures and posts.
I couldn’t find any stats to see how many people tweeted about it, but the story got everywhere. There were videos, photos, tweets, posts everywhere on all different platforms. Everyone was talking about it.
This is what should have happened during the episode on Thursday.
So those who think that what happened on Thursday night is what I plan to do for the rest of my life, it really isn’t. It’s just confused everyone even more. PR is so much more than just stunts. It takes a lot more than hiring somebody to mime in Waterloo station. It’s a rewarding but challenging industry that I am excited to join.